(USNewsMag.com) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sent a memo to the campus police chiefs of 21 colleges and universities in the state, letting them know Florida has a “zero-tolerance policy” regarding hate crimes as concerns over anti-Jewish attacks rise.
The memo comes as reports of rising tensions on college campuses following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack against Israel have been received by Moody’s office.
In the memo, Moody says that as a result of antisemitism on college campuses, Jewish students are reporting that they feel threatened. The memo references an incident that occurred at Columbia University where a Jewish student was beaten with a stick after hanging fliers of missing hostages, as well as an incident at Drexel University where arson was the cause of a fire in the dorm room of a Jewish student.
Moody states that Florida’s “zero-tolerance policy for hate crimes” extends to the state’s colleges and universities. She says that officials must ensure the “safety of Jewish students attending” Florida’s colleges and universities.
Various state statutes outlawing the support of terrorist organizations as well as antisemitic hate crimes are outlined in the memo. One of the statues that involves discrimination or intimidation based on someone wearing items related to religious heritage was signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year.
Moody wrote in the memo that colleges and universities are required to “act with a sense of urgency” in order to ensure Jewish students are protected from acts on campuses that are “motivated by antisemitism and hatred.”
Florida is not the only state receiving reports of rising tensions at colleges. Campuses across the country have seen an increase in pro-Palestinian rallies and protests, as well as those that are anti-Israel. A Georgetown University student stated that campuses became a “hostile environment for Jewish students” as soon as the attack happened. Some Jewish students have stated that a blind eye is being turned to the antisemitism happening on college campuses.
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